Quit Jubilee, Uhuru tells rebel governors

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Governor+Meru+0509kmPresident Uhuru Kenyatta has called for governors from the Jubilee coalition supporting the referendum campaign to resign and seek a fresh mandate.

President Kenyatta said the governors were acting against the wishes of the ruling coalition’s development agenda.

Speaking in Kericho on Sunday, the President said Jubilee was united in its opposition to any referendum.

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Addressing a crowd of supporters who gathered around his motorcade in Kericho town as he was leaving after attending a church service and a fundraiser, President Kenyatta said there was no split between The National Alliance (TNA) and Deputy President William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP).

President Kenyatta accused rebel governors, led by Bomet governor Isaac Ruto, of betraying the Jubilee government.

“Kenyans elected us to work for them, but some of those with whom we were elected under Jubilee have been running up and down making noise and asking for more money. I am now telling them to resign from their positions and seek re-election under other parties,” he said.

WILL BE TAXED MORE

The Head of State urged governors to be “reasonable” in their demands for more money, accusing them of misleading Kenyans by failing to tell them that they will have to be taxed more if county governments are to be allocated more funds.

President Kenyatta declared that the Jubilee government did not have additional funds to allocate to counties and wondered why the county governments were asking for more money while they had not been able to explain how well they utilized the funds allocated to them last year.

“We do not have additional funds to give counties. If someone knows a tree from which we can go and harvest money to give governors, they should show me where that tree is. We get all the money from taxes and we do not want to increase taxes just so that governors can get more money,” he said.

He defended his government against allegations that it was trying to weaken devolution, saying it had “done its best” to implement the Constitution in its first year in office.

He urged governors to use the money they have at their disposal to fund development projects and assured governors that his government was willing to work with them on development.

Earlier at the church meting, Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki also called for the expulsion of rebel governors, asking them to either be ready to toe the line set by the coalition or quit.

Prof Kindiki said he had no apologies to make for his decision to support the government and urged leaders who were elected on Jubilee tickets and who were displeased with the decision of the coalition to oppose the referendum to “honourably” resign and seek a fresh mandate from the people.

“We have overcome numerous difficult hurdles to reach where we are and so the referendum is a small matter and it will not cause us to tremble. We just want to speak in one voice as Jubilee and those who do not want to do so will have to go,” he warned.

WILL NOT ABANDON PUSH

Isaac Ruto and Meru governor Peter Munya have maintained that they would not bow to pressurefrom the ruling coalition to abandon the push for a referendum.

They said they were determined to traverse the 47 counties to popularise the Pesa Mashinani initiative by governors and accused MPs of coming up with laws that could undermine devolution.

The governors said revenue allocation should be increased from 15 to 45 per cent to enable county governments to improve roads and other dilapidated infrastructure.

On Saturday, Mr Ruto and Mr Munya, together with Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Baringo governor Benjamin Cheboi, took their pitch for a referendum to Meru County where they said their push for more funds to the counties would enable them deliver more services to Kenyans.

In Meru, Mr Ruto, who is also the chairman of the Council of Governors, reiterated that county bosses will not be cowed and would carry on with the campaign for a referendum.

-nation.co.ke

From left, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Meru’s Peter Munya and Isaac Ruto of Bomet address residents of Muthara in Tigania East Sub County, Meru County on September 5, 2014. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL

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